Safeway scraps gas-pump plans for Kapahulu site
Safeway officials have agreed to abandon plans to build an eight-pump gas station in Kapahulu, which would have accompanied a 67,000-square-foot supermarket slated to open in late 2007.
Construction will start when the lease at the former Love's Bakery site ends next September.
Neighborhood board members met earlier this month to discuss the issue and were informed of the change in plans.
Residents were concerned the gas station would generate too much traffic along Kapahulu Avenue.
"I think there are a multitude of concerns," said Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Chairwoman Karen Ah Mai. "But if I'm reading the people correctly, they want the Safeway."
The gas station would have been Safeway's first in the islands. Representatives had said that "fuel centers are standard components of all new Safeway stores." But a Safeway informational brochure on the new store says the gas pumps will be replaced with retail shops, parking and landscaping.
A Safeway representative could not be reached for comment this weekend, but a Hawaii public relations firm that represents the company confirmed that the gas station had been scrapped.
Plans for the store were submitted to the city Department of Planning and Permitting last month after nearly a year of community meetings.
The plans include the main store, space for retail shops and 280 parking stalls. Parking will be on the ground level and the supermarket's roof.
Michelle Matson, also on the neighborhood board, urged Safeway to include space for a municipal parking lot in its plans. Safeway officials are not pursuing the idea, according to its public relations firm.
"They have an opportunity to provide a great benefit" by providing public parking, Matson said, adding that the Safeway store is "really going to change Kapahulu town altogether."
The Safeway, which will be the 19th in the islands, will sit at the former Love's Bakery site near Mokihana Street. An adjacent strip mall will be demolished to make way for the store.
To accommodate an influx of shoppers, Kapahulu Avenue will get a turn lane and a stoplight at the intersection with Olu Street.
Safeway's other plans for the site include:
» Installing a crosswalk at the Olu Street intersection.
» Creating a sitting and outdoor dining area outside of the store and retail shops. Safeway also intends to install a "meandering sidewalk."
» Moving the city bus stop on Kapahulu Avenue to make it more convenient. It will be located at the center of the project, rather than at the Ewa end, officials said.